A Moment

That’s how long it took me to realize the reason my early alarm didn’t go off was because, um, it’s Saturday, and the alarm is only scheduled for Monday through Friday.

I’m glad I didn’t wake my wife, worried that she’d be late starting her telework.

The semi-isolation for COVID-19 is ongoing.

Monday I have two medical appointments that are going to be done over the phone. The second one is a follow-up to an MRI I had at Georgetown on Friday.

That I was sedated might explain a bit better about why I didn’t fully-comprehend that today is Saturday.

For me, though the experience at Georgetown was a bit off, things have been really not all that different for me, but, as someone who works from home most of the time, that isn’t that big a surprise.

I haven’t been to my office in like three weeks. Okay. And? I’m really smoothing things over with this system I help run, as well as pointing out things that can be done to improve corporate contract performance.

This is what I can still do.

But do I still want to when I see the effects on people, including very good friends, of what’s happening?

That didn’t make a lot of sense, so maybe I ought to quit writing for now.

The temptation to write is very much there right now, and that’s one of the things that I tend to do when I’m mentally-stressed.

Sunday Night

Up late doing work. It happens. I did get a little teed-off about one of these tell-everybody-you-can-think-of emails from one of the other techs.

He said I was ignoring text messages.

Were you sending them to my old number?

Oh.

But an officious email to everybody will cover up for the problem existing between the keyboard and chair, no? PEBKAC.

Otherwise, I’ve been abusing myself by watching Chuck Todd, and, on one of his gusts’ recommendations, NextDoor.

MSNBC might well be a bigger danger to society than a politician who decries “fake news,” Upchuck.

This is somebody who’s been saying that people who don’t trust people like him are dangerous. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Because I’m a bit of a masochist, I have been trying to watch his show lately. One of his guests, the just-as-Republican-as-Bill-Weld David Brooks, mentioned Nextdoor.

Later in the afternoon, I got an email message talking about how MSNBC and change.org were working on a petition to get everyone a COVID-19 test.

Really? Seriously?

Then these old, rich, white folks were telling me exactly how I should handle the situation. No, that’s okay. I’ll let my docs at Georgetown to dictate.

Sorry if that makes me dangerous, Upchuck.

Turn Your Head and Cough

But make sure it’s into your shoulder.

I’ve been listening to podcasts about CoronavirusCOVID-19.

Obviously, this is of particular concern to me as someone with a chemically-suppressed immune system.

But at the same time, I can’t get too wound up about it, really.

I was happy to see that Wall Street had pretty much the same reaction I had to President Trump’s news conference yesterday.

I guess my question is whether the sort of cooperation among private companies would happen under a government-run system.

I’m more than a little skeptical.

One of the things I did notice about the news conference, however, was the push to do things like provide paid leave to people who really now get no benefits from their jobs.

For a long stretch, there, I had no PTO. None. Not even paid Federal holidays. Nothing.

But that’s what people had voted for.

Registering Dissent

Much as I appreciate Katherine Mangu-Ward’s argument against voting, I did go vote in the Virginia Democratic Primary this afternoon.

Why?

Because some of the candidates, two in particular, were so terribly awful I felt the need to try to contribute to their early departure.

I won’t name specifics, but I will say, “New England.”

It does, however, feed into my still-alive idea of “You Can Leave.

Two of the leading candidates, again, “New England,’ want to stop that.

Don’t like the things Google is doing with its search algorhythms?

You can leave.

But the politicians have a problem with that.

That freedom is the thing that candidates are trying to end.

I’m not.

That might well make me a bad person.

But I don’t care.

Shmoo Open

I’m watching the livestream from home because I’m not feeling well, and don’t have a bed tonight.

Of course, a lot of the standard administrivia, but Bruce did hit on some of the sorts of things I’ve been thinking and writing about for a long time.

For the vast, vast, vast majority of organizations, Infosec is a parasitic function on another parasitic function.

McDonalds doesn’t exist to do Infosec; don’t treat the folks behind the counter like morons because they don’t do Infosec.

I sure as hell couldn’t make the pink goo be very edible; why would I presume the guy who can is an idiot because he has to write down his 95-character password?

It is a tool that lets people do what they’re hired to do more effectively. If it gets to the point where we’re keeping them from operating at all, why the hell are they paying us?

And the next talk is starting, so I’m gonna go.

Bad News Repruhshent

I am back in Tidewater, visiting my recuperating mother, and my grandfather who came up to visit.

It is strange being here, certainly.

I’m also prepping for Shmoocon next weekend, and tying up loose ends from yet another rebuild on this server.

I can’t find a lot of what I wrote between 2015 and 2o18.

I have SQL dumps that I can pick through, but I really haven’t had the energy or patience to do it.

I am still trying, too, to really pull out everything I’d put in for a job search during my periods of unemployment.

I really do love where I work, now. I wish I was healthier so I could move off on to something they’re doing that’s different than what I’ve done since 2005.

I got distracted just now by a friend on Facebook appealing to the usual sources for fact-checking before posting of stories.

Um. Okay. So only check facts from sites that are biased as hell before you share something. Perhaps SPLC should have been on that list.

It did distract me from something else I wanted to talk about the Apple backup story.

At first, I was disturbed by this, what with AG Barr’s misguided attempts to have backdoors engineered into encryption.

That, of course, was a bit of a knee-jerk response. I’d missed the part about these backup sets being store on an iCloud Drive.

Wanna keep shit suparsekret? Encrypt it yourself, and store it on physical media under your control.

Yes, that Apple made the decision after FBI pressure bothers me, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is technically-possible to keep whatever it is you have from prying eyes, government or otherwise.

Fall Into Fall

I started writing this a few weeks ago, but never got around to completing it.


The last time I wrote, I was complaining about recruiters.

They’ve not stopped. Friday afternoon, after a morning with my counselor (is that what I should call her?), I swa my Tysabri infusion delayed again.

Following that infusion, I was supposed to stop by a former company for a chat. I’d not received a calendar invite, and I was going to have to miss time at work on Monday, so I didn’t dig terribly deep.

That’s rescheduled for later.


Given that I have my next infusion Tuesday, and the reschedule was for five weeks later, I guess I started writing this probably the week after Labor Day. (For anyone reading overseas, Labor Day is the US version of May Day; we don’t really like Socialism, despite what you might hear on the Democratic presidential debates. Heya, hipster Socialists, the state is cancelled.)

Otherwise, November is close at hand, so today I’m starting to gather writing prompts for next month

Yes, I’m going to do that for the tenth year, despite my psychologist’s identification of it as a compulsion.

So much in my life these days revolves around identification of the various “problems” I have. See the bit about the writing compulsion. Oh well.

We are getting very close to moving. I’m excited to be closer in to a city. It’s been too long. I should also respond to a personal email that’s been languishing.

Arts Majors

I’ve long maintained that many of the people working as corporate recruiters are Arts Majors who spell too well to work at Starbucks.

This morning’s bit was a call from a 703 number with no name displayed in the caller ID.

Are you in the market?

Not really, but I’m always willing to listen. What do you have?

You need to answer a few questions before I tell you.

((Technical questions from someone who clearly doesn’t know WTF she’s asking))

What is your current salary?

I’m not at liberty to say.

Okay, then, well, we’ll keep your resume on file.

Nono, wait a minute, you haven’t let me ask my questions.

You wouldn’t answer mine.

Please don’t keep my information on file.

My initial inclination was to release this disreputable company’s information. Then it was to call and complain about this cheery employee.

But I’m not going to do that.

I just want people to stop doing that shit.

You can leave

That’s the phrase that’s been floating through my scarred brain lately.

And I am/have.

Faceboook. Google. Twitter might be next if I can find something that I find to be an adequate replacement.

Sometimes, it’s the only thing left.

On Moving

I did go see a psychologist a few weeks ago in response to a few issues I’ve been having.

Since probably November, I’ve been having these very disturbing dreams. She thinks I have OCD, which seems to be a bit more common in people with my condition.

My, now years’, of writing every day of a month, is a compulsion.

(As an aside, I moved my 2015 and 2016 archives off the main page; I’m not sure I meant them to be there, anyway.)

Yesterday, we spent most of the day looking at places to rent in the District of Columbia.

Though I’d like to be closer to where I’m working (only one day per week, the rest remotely), and where I’m receiving my medical care, I’m scared that we won’d be able to afford it should something bad happen to me.

Paranoia
Paranoia
Everybody’s coming to get me

And a diversion to watch stuff on YouTube.

But back to writing. I don’t even know. Perhaps it’s something that keeps me humming along.

Today’s thought, after a sleep ended by a dream I’d been thoroughly roughed-up by the security staff at some conference I was attending. It wasn’t something that was terribly of interest to me, but I was there for someone else. (Perhaps this was triggered by my wife mentioning something she wanted to see that’s not of particular interest to me

And delete speculation on the cause of the dream.

On the bright side, however, the compulsions for risk have really dropped off since I spoke to her.

I need to listen to the book she recommended.

And maybe write in May instead of the month leading up to my birthday this year, separate things by six months.

My inclination towards the end of last summer’s writing period was to just not do it again.

But the urge is there, and it’s probably better for me than worrying about where I can find something dangerous to do.

When I say, “dangerous,” it’s rarely something that’s potentially fatal, but just reckless. Where can I find some raw oysters to eat? No, I don’t want to put in my seatbelt in the back of this car.

But odd times, to say the least. My scarred brain is calming down some, thankfully. We shall see. And maybe I express my compulsion in May, instead of July and August.